Study Reveals Unlikely Activity Bringing Australian Couples Together

"It remains unclear whether this is due to shared suffering, or mutual appreciation..."

What brings you closer to your partner? Watching Netflix or going to the Opera? The answer may not be as clear cut as you think.

A new social study released today by Opera Australia has laid some interesting findings bare.

97% of people felt more connected to their partner after experiencing an opera performance together, the study found.

It remains unclear whether this was due to shared suffering, or mutual appreciation… Either way: given the demands buffeting modern couples in these unprecedented times (in 2020, 42% of Aussies experienced a negative change in their relationship with their partner, Opera Australia claims), anything that brings them together is surely worth some applause.

Opera – and its glammed up representation of ~lurve~ has been a powerful aphrodisiac for centuries.

“Now in 2021,” Opera Australia claims, “the findings are clear that an operatic environment can inspire deeper connections between couples in the audience watching.”

Certified Australian relationship and sex expert, Georgia Grace, supported the study’s results, saying activities like the opera can “absolutely foster a greater sense of intimacy between partners.”

“Opera music is scientifically proven to stimulate the pleasure centres of the brain, which is the same part that fires up when you fall in love2. It can feel deeply arousing to engage in new behaviours, particularly romantic ones like going to the opera, and I see many couples who find that trying new experiences together has an aphrodisiac impact,” she said.

The study was conducted in collaboration with market research company YouGov, and was designed to measure the effect opera can have on the intimacy of couples. It was developed in response to recent news that many Aussies (42%) have experienced a negative change in their relationship with their partner due to the impacts of COVID-19.

“I would suggest couples try watching an opera performance together, as it is a fascinating way to explore intimacy, eroticism and how your body responds to certain stimuli. The more curious we are about our bodies, and the more we engage in new activities, the greater our capacity for pleasure and intimacy with another person,” Georgia added.

The social study results also revealed that 91% of participants said a night at the opera was an intimate and romantic experience, with 66% strongly agreeing that it aroused their emotions and stimulated their senses.

Opera Australia’s Artistic Director, Lyndon Terracini, says he has seen the romantic impact of opera first-hand for many years.

“I’ve always said opera has the power to move people, and the impact it can have should never be underestimated. When that experience is shared, it can absolutely bring people closer together,” he said.

“The results of this study certainly show that’s the case. I’ve felt it as a performer but even more so as an audience member. When you hear those amazing operatic voices and the emotion behind them, it can hit you right in the chest and be a profoundly moving and emotional experience.”

To mark the commencement of the winter season on the 22nd June, Opera Australia is launching a new ‘Lovers Special’ to help couples experience the power of opera together, from the 31st of May.

Bonus: the first 100 couples to use promo code LOVERS at will get 2-for-1 tickets and a drink on arrival for Aida at the Sydney Opera House from the 22nd of June to the 13th of August.

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